The Latest Buzz-Word: UGC

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If you're working in the marketing world, you're bound to have overheard the latest buzzword: UGC. This term shortened for user-generated content is influencing marketers' strategies and amplifying social content calendars all around the globe.

UGC has become increasingly popular as corporate brands and businesses are tapping into the creative juices of none other than their fans and social followers. In a time where people live in a social media-filled world, chances are that the people purchasing your products are also snapping photos and sharing them on their social accounts. Thus, UGC is easier to come across than ever before as it is not limited to certain platforms and can be found in the forms of copy, pins, videos and of course photos.

We recently joined a webinar hosted by OfferPop - Visual UGC - Transforming Engagement Marketing. The panel included, Christopher Motta – Director of Social Media, Macy's Merchandising Group. In recent months, Macy's has started shifting dollars from their marketing budgets to focus on social platforms instead.

Here's some key insight from the Christopher and the company on UGC:

  • User generated content performs the best when compared to other social content.
  • It is crucial to ensure that users give consent before companies use their photos to avoid legal troubles. Macy's' legal team is heavily involved in the company's UGC process to ensure the company has all rights to use the photos from users.
  • The easiest way to acquire user photos is through contests.
  • Develop UGC campaigns with short and easy-to-understand hashtags.

Before you consider delving into UGC, here's some pros and cons:

Pros

  • Unlimited amount of user content out there.
  • It's easy to get good content with a limited budget.
  • Most of your audience participate in social media so it's an ideal place to attract new consumers.

Cons

  • There's a lot of content that might not fit the company's brand guidelines.
  • Can come across legal issues. Users need to be credited for their work.

All said, according to Christopher and Macy’s, it really just comes down to the fact that "consumers trust other consumers’ content more than brand content."

For more UGC inspiration - check out Starbuck's #WhiteCupContest campaign or read about how Applebee's is taking UGC to another level.

Sonam Rammarketing, social media, ugc